Monday, May 2, 2011

What ten things can you always count on?....Your fingers!

Now that the month of May is finally here most teachers will begin to breathe with a sigh of relief because they have the final goal line in sight. It has been a long school year. You've done your best to create a rich mathematical learning environment. Now, with only a few weeks left, you want to keep your students motivated through the end of the school year. Why not bring out a collection of jokes, riddles and puns that will not only tickle their funny bones, but also keep students engaged until that end-of-year bell rings?

"Where do math teachers eat? On multiplication tables, of course!" says Joan Holub in Riddle-Iculous Math. It is filled with jokes, puns and riddles that will get your math-laugh-fest off to a great start. Another perfect choice is Arithme-Tickle: An Even Number of Odd Riddle-Rhymes by J. Patrick Lewis. The most recent addition to this genre, Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks, by my NCTM colleague G. Patrick Vennebush is a must have for every math classroom. Don't miss Patrick's blog for more math puzzles, wit and humor. You can revisit my April 7 post for the titles from Greg Tang filled with riddles and fun.

Hard to find, but worth looking for in your local library:
See you later, Escalator!:Mall Math by Time-Life Books
How Many Feet? How Many Tails? by Marilyn Burns

Teaching Tip

Challenge students with some amusing riddles as part of the daily class routine. Include puns and knock-knock jokes on worksheets or quizzes. Have them write original riddles to display in the classroom or exchange.

The article Math Riddles:Helping Children Connect Words and Numbers by Carl M Sherrill provides suggestions and guidelines for student authored riddles.

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